ASM sports tourism edge with EDGE Sports deal



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ASM Global with strategic investment Image: ASM Global

ASM Global – the world leader in venue and event strategy and management – recently made significant investment in the Boston (US)-based EDGE Sports Group – signifying a major investment and strategic move to become the leading provider of advisory, development and venue management services to clients and partners in the rapidly expanding $52 billion domestic youth sports and sports tourism industry.

‘ASM Global’ stated that after the transaction’s close and reflecting this new collaboration, the company will operate under the banner of EDGE Sports Global.

Los Angeles (US)-based ASM Global is the world’s leading producer of entertainment experiences. It is the global leader in venue and event strategy and management – delivering locally tailored solutions and cutting-edge technologies to achieve maximum results for the venue owners. The company’s elite venue network spans five continents, with a portfolio of more than 400 of the world’s most prestigious arenas, stadiums, convention, and exhibition centers, and performing arts venues.

Wellesley (US)-based EDGE Sports Global was formed to react to the growing demand for public-private partnerships (PPPs) that provide year-round family-oriented athletic venues. EDGE assists clients in navigating through local, State and Federal public processes and they work with the private capital and conventional lenders to obtain financing and establish the programing and operational framework required to sustain the model.

Founded in 2016 by Brian and Denise DeVellis, EDGE Sports brings a portfolio of more than a dozen sports venues in the New England (US) region and is rapidly expanding with ongoing development projects in Florida, Arizona and other geographies nationally. With these venues, EDGE manages more than two million square feet of playing surfaces and tenant spaces including ice hockey, indoor and outdoor turf, hard courts, aquatics, and sports performance training facilities. These properties welcome more than nine million unique visitors per year, collectively.

‘ASM Global’ further stated that together with ASM Global’s existing portfolio of sports and recreation assets, this new collaboration represents one of the largest unified platforms of sports facilities in the United States.

Remarked Ron Bension, ASM Global head honcho and President, “We see extraordinary synergies with our pre-eminent collection of stadiums and arenas and collegiate and pro sports partners. The ASM venues have hosted four of the past five National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s Basketball Final Four events, and we will host our third consecutive Super Bowl in 2025 (the annual league championship game of the National Football League [NFL]) at the 83,000-capacity Caesars Superdome in New Orleans. It is a natural fit for ASM to expand more deeply into the youth and community sports sectors, and EDGE Sports was the perfect strategic partner. This strengthens our capabilities to serve our existing and new clients, and to create a positive impact on the communities and families we serve. I am incredibly excited to be joining forces with Brian and Denise DeVellis, who are true industry pioneers.”

Indianapolis (US)-based the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a nonprofit organization that regulates student athletics among about 1,100 schools in the United States and one in Canada. It also organizes the athletic programs of colleges and helps over 500,000 college student-athletes who compete annually in college sports.

The EDGE Sports Group Founder and President Brian DeVellis will continue in his role as the President of EDGE Sports Global and will lead the team’s growth and expansion efforts moving forward.

Exulted DeVellis, “We are thrilled to be part of the ASM team. Blending EDGE’s expertise in family-oriented athletic facility development and operations with ASM’s international scale and expertise in sports and entertainment is a powerful combination. The EDGE Sports develops and operates best-in-class venues, and we pride ourselves on cultivating incredible sports experiences for the youth and families. These are the future participants and fans of sports at all levels. The resources and operating network of ASM will only strengthen our now combined efforts as we continue to rapidly expand our portfolio and innovate the ways in which we serve our clients and the communities.”

In addition to its sports facilities, the EDGE Sports bring deep expertise and assets in sports program management. The EDGE Sports currently owns or manages youth sports clubs, academies and camps that total more than 350 teams and 8,000 athletes.

There has been a growing recognition in recent years of the emerging nature of youth sports as an economic powerhouse. According to research by the Sports Events and Tourism Association, an estimated 205 million Americans traveled for youth and participatory sports events in 2023, with direct spending of $52 billion when factoring in both sports participation and the related travel and tourism spend.

As the non-profit 501(c)3 trade association for the sport tourism industry in the United States, the Ohio (US)-based Sports Events and Tourism Association (Sports ETA) is the most trusted resource for sports commissions, destination marketing organizations (DMOs), vendors, and sports event owners.

This investment in EDGE comes as the ASM Global continues its momentum in all realms of sports and entertainment destinations. ASM was awarded the management contract by the County of Henrico, Virginia, for the 185,000 square foot Henrico Sports & Events Center which features a 3,500-capacity sports facility and multipurpose event space which will accommodate 12 basketball courts or 24 volleyball courts. Additionally, ASM entered into a joint venture (JV) agreement to be the operating partner for the County’s Green City District, a newly launched development which will feature a 17,000-seat arena.

Internationally, the ASM Global recently announced the long-awaited introduction of Hong Kong’s massive $4 billion Kai Tak sports, entertainment, retail, and dining hub – the largest sports complex development in history.

The ASM Global in recent years has been evolving the paradigm of the properties it develops, designs, programs, manages, and markets, ranging from San Antonio’s (Texas) innovative 3,100-capacity Tech Port Center with its unique E-gaming component to the recently added the 3,500-capacity Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, California.

Concluded Nate Whitman, ASM Chief Strategy Officer, “The EDGE Sports represents a unique platform investment for the ASM. EDGE immediately expands and diversifies our portfolio and positions us for accelerated growth in the sports venue vertical. We see tremendous potential to grow and enhance sponsorship, data, food and beverage (F&B), and special events offerings that are core to ASM’s suite of services. We couldn’t be more excited to join forces with Brian, Denise and the EDGE Sports team.”

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